Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ground School, and Grounded

Today our club started a 6-week ground school for club members and newcomers, and as a student CFI I got to teach a couple of sessions. Just like last year, I taught on Weight & Balance, and Preflight Inspection. I think it went pretty well, except that I really could have used more time. Each was planned to be 30 minutes, but we went for 1:20 and could have gone longer. There were nine "official" students and two or three that were kind of observing. I think everyone enjoyed it and learned a lot - good discussion and good questions. I got good feedback from a couple of participants and our Chief CFI.

I also worked with a pre-solo student on some of his homework questions regarding aerodynamics. Coincidentally, I had been thinking about his first question the other day, and how I would explain it. Grabbing a little balsa glider that we keep around as an instructional aid, I gave him some hints that helped a light bulb go on over his head. I really enjoy that kind of stuff.

Later in the day I was to fly with our Chief CFI to do some prep work for my Commercial practical test. You have to do 10 flights with an instructor within 60 days of taking the practical test, and this was to have been the first. As I was strapping in in the rear seat, I found a major mechanical problem which, upon further inspection, showed damage to the static system. So that ship is grounded for now, until some prehistoric tubing can be replaced. I worked closely with our Maintenance Officer, so I learned a bit more about how the Blanik L13 instrument panel and static system are put together.

Since the above-mentioned CFI is going on some trips in March, I won't get to do many of those required flights for a while. So I'm probably looking at taking the practical in late April. I think I may focus heavily on preparing for the Fudamentals of Instruction written test in the meantime so I can keep making progress. I plan to buy the ASA Test Prep CD for Flight Instructor. I have the book from a couple years ago, and I like studying from the book rather than on the computer. But I found that the software version helps a lot when taking practice tests, because it handles the scoring automatically.

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